2OO3 - 2O19

July 2016, Eyescream truck
May 2016, Radio bardo.I Part 1; II. "Hammerklavier"; III. Part 3; IV. Part 4
January 2015 | Stravinsky, Movements for Piano and Orchestra (1958-59). All parts on trombone. Movement I; Movement II; Movement III; Movement IV; Movement V. As a single track. (2-piano reduction score)
November 2014, kitchen bowls backyard
Leos Janacek. From On An Overgrown Path, for piano. I. Our Evenings, all parts on trombone.
August 2012. Berkshire School squash courts, midnight. Trombone improvisations with bassoon reed 1. 12:08; 2. 9:43; 3. 4:06; 4. 8:44.
JACK NEWMAN - SHOLEM ALEICHEM. Trombone translations of Yiddish. From an obscure LP entitled "Sholem Aleichem Readings", circa 1960s. Unfortunately I can't find any biographical information on the reader Jack Newman, and the majority of what's on the back of the record jacket is in Hebrew except for a short section by a Chaim Rothblat, who says he was 'Professor of Hebrew Literature University of Judaism'. Rothblat was quoted as saying the recording of the stories reminded him "of a recitation presented by Sholem Aleichem in 1914 before the outbreak of the first World War." The first time I heard this record it was music to my ears. I was thrilled imagining it on trombone, having this to work on. I chose a track which struck me as particularly intricate melodically and rhythmically, and memorized it phrase by phrase, playing along rather than transcribing it. A fascinating and challenging process! It's so beautiful how anything can become music. We'll never run out of things to practice and explore. "If speech melody is the flower of a water-lily, it nevertheless buds and blossoms and drinks from the roots, which wander in the waters of the mind." - Leos Janacek (Uncollected Essays on Music). September 2008: 1. "Berl Isaac" original; 2. "Berl Isaac" with trombone; 3. "Berl Isaac" trombone alone; June 2007: 1. "Naches Fun Kinder" original; 2. "Naches Fun Kinder" with trombone; 3. "Naches Fun Kinder" trombone alone
June 2009. With a remote drumset, German sound-artist Markus Markowski created what he calls "trigger music" to these pieces. 1. 'Naches Fun Kinder' with trombone and remote drumset; 2. 'Berl Isaac' with trombone and remote drumset.
Improvicompositions with family tapes. It was back in early 2006 that I was first introduced to the work and life of Stan Brakhage by Craig Taborn, which spurred me on to transfer some 50+ old family cassette tapes to my computer for use as footage sourced from personal visual circumstances to incorporate into compositions based around trombone improvisations and collage work using other archived sound material from performances and miscellaneous recorded excerpts and associations. These pieces became important steps in self-reliant compositional work-thought for me, looking at, assembling, deconstructing, and simulating a solo language coming essentially from jazz, feeling artistic freedom and surrealism in need for an active balance from the collaborative/public experiences. "Sensory impressions are more fertile soil for memories than the best systems and methods of thought." - Herman Hesse. Looking back on life, love, death... A collage | April 2006; Winter blues | January 2010; December 29, 2008; December 15, 2007; Happenings, Things, Pieces, Events | October 2007; Expansion on Bach/Celebration Song | June 12, 2007; Family Pieces | May 2007; Nostalgia | March 2007 | Family Cassette Collage | January 2007; Meditations from behind the couch, vitreous | September 2006; Now Of August 31, 2006; "We need to find the link between our traditions and our present experience of life. Nowness, or the magic of the present moment, is what joins the wisdom of the past with the present." - Chogyam Trungpa; Davidsong | July 2006; Once A Boy Was Born Into The World | June 2006; Dream of Flowers | June 2006; May 26, 2006 + 1977.
Conlon Nancarrow. On trombone. June 2010, Player-piano Study No. 9: 1. Original; 2. Original + trombones; 3. Trombones alone; October 2008, Player-piano Study No. 15: 1. Original; 2. Original + trombones; 3. Trombones alone.
Igor Stravinsky. July 2008. The first movement from Stravinsky's Sonata for Two Pianos (1943-44). 1. Moderato. And the 32-bar introduction to the Concerto for Piano and Winds (1923-24). 1. Largo. (Version two.)
Erik Satie. January 2009. Airs à faire fuir (Airs that chase away) from Pièces Froides (Cold Pieces, 1897) for solo piano. 1. Airs à faire fuir
Carlo Gesualdo. Madrigals, from Book VI (1611) for 5 voices, on trombone. March 2012. 1. Resta Di Darmi Noia
Alexander Scriabin. February 2012. Piano Prelude Op. 51 No. 2, trombone
Pierre Boulez. April 2008. From Messagesquisse (1976-77 on trombone along with the recording of cello soloist Jean-Guihen Queyras and six others of the Ensemble de Violoncelles de Paris. 1. II. Très Rapide; 2. IV. Aussi Rapide Que Possible.
Anton Webern. Variations for piano, Op. 27, on trombone. 1) Sehr Mässig; 2) Sehr Schnell.
Solo, live in Brooklyn, November 6, 2010. Three record players and trombone. 1) 58:23
August 2009 trombone improvisation. 1) 1:30
PLASTIC CUP PHONOGRAPH RECORDER/PLAYER. The cup phonograph kit by Gakke, purchased through Ebay for less than $30. With shipping from Japan it comes out to less than $60 total. Takes about 3 hours to assemble and records on to plastic cups for the duration of their size, which is little over a minute. You have to play, sing, or what have you into the "horn" as loud as you can in order for the vibrations to resonate enough through the extra-sharp weighted needle into the grooves of the cup being cut. When you play back the cup, you change the angle of the needle in order not to continually dig into the grooves each time. The sound is pretty garbled but it's there! Makes you think about other surfaces over time which have recorded vibrations into them... The kit comes with only five cups, which look like your typical plastic cups, but they aren't. I'm still looking for more of the right kind... Anyhow, a great toy. Here are a couple garbled test improvisations on trombone. 1) cup 1; 2) cup 2
Scriabin. Op. 11 No. 15, on trombone.
Carlo Gesualdo. Sacrae Cantiones (1603). Gesualdo's first sacred publications for five voices. April 2008 - October 2010, on trombone. I. Ave, Regina coelorum; II. Venit lumen tuum; III. Ave, dulcissima Maria; IV. Reminisceremiserationum tuarum; V. Dignare me, laudare te; VII. Domine, ne despicias; VIII. Hei mihi, Domine; IX. Laboravi in gemitu meo; X. Peccantem me quotidie; XI. O vos omnes; XII. Exaudi, Deus; XIII. Precibus et meritis beatae Mariae.
Chopin. Preludes, Op. 28, trombone. April 2008, Prelude No.6; October 2007, Prelude No.4; August 2007, Prelude No.2; August 2007, Prelude No.5 (Martha Argerich, piano)
Olivier Messaien. September 2008, from La Nativite du Seigneur, for organ. I. La Vierge et L'Enfant; from Quartet for the End of Time, sixth movement: 2. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
Vivaldi. April 2008, Concerto for Strings in C Major, RV 111a, III. Presto; October 2007, Concerto for Strings in D minor, RV 127, III. Allegro.
Stravinsky. March 2007, 4-voice fugue in the first half of the second movement in Symphony of Psalms. 1) Trombones alone; 2) Original recording + trombones.
Schumann. January 2008, Etude 10 from the Symphonic Etudes, for piano. 1) Etude X (Murray Perahia, piano)
Elliott Carter. In 1999 I rewrote his solo piano piece 90+ to play along with the record (so that all of the piece could still be heard) which I attempted semi-successfully in performance that same year on my senior recital at the Manhattan School of Music. 2003-4 I did the same thing to two other works of his for solo instruments, Changes, for guitar, and Figment, for cello, but keeping the "performance" aspect of it relatively confined to my NYC apartment. October 2007, 90+ (Ursula Oppens, piano); 2003, Changes (David Starobin, guitar); 2003, Figment (Rohan de Saram, cello).
Changes, for guitar, trombone part
Figment, for solo cello, trombone part
Bach. Trombone, etc. Brandenburg Concerto #6, Mvt. 1; Puer natus in Bethlehem, chorale prelude for organ; Nun komm der heiden heiland, chorale prelude for organ; Ich ruf zu dir, chorale prelude (Helmut Walcha, organ); Allemande, from Partita No. 3 (Glenn Gould, piano); Piano Prelude No. 1 in C major, eight trombones; 3rd movement from Concerto No.3 for Two Violins + old family cassette of brother (with Arthur Grumiaux recording); Courante from Partita No. 1 (Glenn Gould, piano).
Ghoomar. February 2007. Traditional dance song from Rajasthan.
Improvised compositions, 2003-2005, assembled indeterminately, recording each subsequent improvised layer without listening back to the ones preceding, building the composition in imagination up until feeling of completion. Trombone, melodica, voice, guitar (5 and 10), thumb piano; Thomas Morgan, bass; voice (16); Eivind Opsvik, bass (44-49, 60), thumb piano (46); Miles Okazaki, guitar; Judith Berkson, voice (34). 1. Trombones VIII; 2. Formation – Trombone and Bass; 3. Trombone and Guitar I; 4. In Between – Trombone, Melodica, Voice; 5. Trombone, Thumb Piano, Guitar, Melodica; 6. Trombone and Bass I; 7. A First Glimpse of the Other Side – Guitar and Trombone; 8. Trombones with Melodica; 9. Trombone and Guitar II; 10. Guitar, Thumb Piano, Trombone; 11. Extended composition for Trombone and Bass; 12. Trombone solo; 13. Trombone and Guitar III; 14. Durations - Trombone; 15. Trombone, Melodica; 16. Esperanto – Trombone and Voice; 17. Guitar, Melodica, Cab Dispatcher; 18. Trombone and Bass II; 19. Before and After – Trombone; 20. Living with Dying – Guitar and Trombone; 21. Trombone and Bass VI; 22. Many Trombones; 23. Versions of Two Excursions – Trombone and Guitar; 24. 5 and 1 – Feldman recordings and Voice; 25. Trombone and Bass III; 26. Trombone and Guitar V; 27. For Four Melodicas; 28. Trombone and Guitar IV; 29. Trombone and Bass VIII; 30. Two Clouds – Trombone; 31. Trombones VII; 32. Trombone and Bass IV; 33. Trombone, Guitar and Melodica; 34. Lost – Voice and Trombone; 35. Trombone and Guitar VI; 36. Trombone and Bass V; 37. The Dream – Trombone, Melodica, Voice; 38. The Ocean's City – Trombone; 39. Beginning an Ending – Trombone; 40. Trombone and Guitar I; 41. Trombone and Guitar II; 42. Trombone and Guitar III; 43. Trombone, Guitar and Melodica; 44. Trombone and Bass #1; 45. Trombone and Bass #2; 46. Trombone, Bass, Melodica, Thumb Piano #3; 47. Trombone and Bass #4; 48. Trombone and Bass #5; 49. Trombone and Bass #6; 50. The Return to Birth - trombone and voice; 51. In Four - Trombone; 52. Suspension - Melodica; 53. Discussing Peace - Voice; 54. Finding The Form In What I've Said - Trombone, Thumb Piano, Melodica; 55. Trombone and Bass #1; 56. Trombone and Bass #2; 57. Solo, May 31, 2004; 58. Solo + melodica, May 31, 2004; 59. Solo II, May 31, 2004; 60. Equational - trombone and bass; 61. Solo, July 6, 2004; 62. Solo, July 12, 2004; 63. Solo, July 20, 2004; 64. Solo, July 25, 2004; 65. Extended solo, September 12, 2004; 66. Extended Solo/Extending Melodies, October 20, 2004; 67. Improvised journey for five trombones; 68. Solo, November 6, 2005; 69. Solo II, November 6, 2005; 70. Flying Low Over A Frozen Land, melodica; 71. Trombone, thumb Piano, melodica; 72. Five Trombones; 73. Ten Trombones; 74. Hexagonal Crystal Offering In A Buried Wooden Coffin, January 15, 2006; 75. Solo, May 31, 2007.
Created By
Ben Gerstein